wat arun temple of dawn
Bangkok Blog

Wat Arun: Temple of Dawn, Bangkok

Wat Arun is an iconic temple in Bangkok, located at the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. The name Arun is derived from the Hindu God of Dawn, Aruna. It’s a precious religious site of worship for the locals and underlie deep historical significance.

I read several overpriced taxi rides getting here on TripAdvisor and wanted to avoid that. Even though it was our first time in Bangkok, it was not difficult navigating to Wat Arun by public transport. The cheapest and simplest way to get there is by riverboat. Take the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin station and walk to the boat pier, then take a riverboat to Pier Tha Tien. Next, take an express ferry ride to cross the river. It’s about 20 minutes walk to Wat Arun and entry to the temple is 100 baht for foreigners. It’s important to dress appropriately before entering. Also, there’s a shop within the premises if you need additional clothes to cover up.

On May 2017, the temple was under still construction when I visited. It would certainly be glorious after all renovations are completed and perhaps I’ll pay Bangkok another visit then 🙂

Still, the temple of dawn did not disappoint – Chinese porcelain and finely crafted intricate glasses decorated 70-m high towers. It’s okay to climb the steps but be careful! The steps are very steep and narrow, best to hang onto the railings as you slowly make your climb and take photographs from the top. Climbing back down was probably scarier than going up. At the highest point of the tower, you might even see Wat Pho and the Grand Palace opposite the river.

Take a few moments to admire the beautiful towers and detailed murals. What was meaning of the sculptures of animals, soldiers and patterns adorning its walls? What history lie behind this temple and how was the name, “temple of dawn” derived?

Background Info

After King Tasksin’s victory battling the Burmese army at Ayutthaya in the 17th century, he arrived at this temple as dawn broke. The spectacular decorations of spires, porcelain and glimmering colors were added during the reign of Rama III. Also, Wat Arun was previously the home of the Emerald Buddha, which now resides at the Grand Palace.

  • Entrance fee: 100 baht
  • Address: 158 Wang Doem Road Bangkok 10600, Thailand
  • Open daily from 08:30 – 17:30.

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